Deyna Castellanos: the Venezuelan who conquers Spanish Women’s League

The forward of the vinotinto women's team arrived at Atlético de Madrid in January 2020.

Deyna Castellanos

The Venezuelan already has a whole capital shouting their goals. / Photo: IG-deynacastellanos

LatinAmerican | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Deyna Castellanos: la venezolana que conquista el fútbol español

When the year 2020 began, very few imagined that soccer worldwide was going to stop for several months. Others, on the other hand, were already waiting for the great closing of the season in the different leagues of the world. In Spain, particularly, Atlético de Madrid wanted to bet big with the signing of a young woman who had been dazzling with the U-17 and U-20 teams of Venezuela , in addition to having a spectacular season in American University Women's Soccer. Her name: Deyna Castellanos .

With an innate talent to play since she was little, Deyna took her first steps in the same team where her brother played , and since there were no clubs for girls, she had to train and play with boys in different categories over the years. Being a striker and captain, always standing out in all matches, earned her the opportunity to be part of the Juan Arango Soccer School, in her hometown of Maracay. This was just the beginning for her.

"Es impresionante ver a una niña de su edad jugar con tanta habilidad y potencia, pegarle a la pelota con ambas piernas y tener tanta explosión de velocidad. No hay muchos jugadores que puedan anotar los goles que ella hace, y estoy hablando tanto de hombres como de mujeres"

– Juan Arango, excapitán de la Selección Nacional de Venezuela.

The passage of the Venezuelan through the Vinotinto has been marked by huge accomplishments. From a two-time South American U-17 women's championship (in 2013 and 2016), to two fourth places in the world championship in that category, winning Golden Boot and 2 Bronze Balls. But not everything was there. What else could that young woman offer? 2017 was spectacular for her, as she managed to be a finalist for the Puskas Award (the only woman to top the list of nominees) and the FIFA The Best Award (the youngest player to be nominated). Despite not winning any, it meant entering through the big door in the world of international soccer.

"Todavía no he jugado un Mundial Sub-20, ni un Mundial de mayores, ni siquiera juego en una liga profesional o la Champions League, nada de eso. Estar ya entre las 10 nominadas es algo increíble. Para mí significa mucha responsabilidad porque, aparte de ser un sueño, poder ganar este premio me impulsa a seguir trabajando y esforzándome"

– Deyna Castellanos.

Madrid at her feet

After receiving a scholarship from Florida State University in 2016, where she studied Social Communication, she won the NCAA Women's Soccer 2018 title and became the team's second top scorer with 46 goals , Deyna signed her first professional contract with Atlético de Madrid. Much had been said about what the next destination of the Venezuelan could be once her university stage was finished, since having the skill of a young girl with great achievements was something that large teams would have wanted to have from 2020. The strong bet was made by the mattress makers who did not hesitate to announce the signing on the second day of January.

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The beginning, as is often the case in soccer players, was difficult for Deyna. Little by little he adapted to the team and to the rhythm of a professional club. The 19-20 season ended for her with just 82 minutes on the court in five games , all coming from the substitute bench. The objective was to start the next campaign with all the possible enthusiasm, demonstrating from the preseason the reason why the club gave him that confidence. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the soccer stoppage arrived, but that in the end was only a small obstacle that she was able to overcome over time.

The Primera Iberdrola is characterized by being one of the most disputed women's leagues in all of Europe and Deyna was aware of that from the start. On October 3, on the first day, the Venezuelan did not clash and debuted with her first goal with the red-and-white shirt . Rivals such as Espanyol, Santa Teresa, Logroño, Deportivo La Coruña, Athletic Club and Real Sociedad have suffered – until now – every time the attacker sets her sights on the goal . Her contributions also go beyond moving the nets, since thanks to her good control of the ball and vision of the game they place her as one of the best team assistants. In almost half a season, and with only 21 years old, he has a whole capital screaming their goals. Without a doubt, 2021 promises to come with much more talent in her boots.

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